Noreen Beale (Pauline Quirke) is a homely teenage girl who has just gotten a job at the Briteway Grocery Store. Noreen is basically shy and rather bland. She was hired by the store’s assistant manager Mrs. King (Ruth Goring). For the most part, Mrs. King is a kind boss. The manager of the store is Colin Grimley (Geoffrey Bateman). Grimley is rude, loud and bossy. When not putting the moves on pretty young checkout clerk Linda (Shirley Cheriton) he is berating Noreen. Noreen seems to give the customers the creeps as well.
Strange things begin to happen. A jar of coffee falls from the checkout counter. Grimley blames Noreen despite her protestations. Another time more items fall. Noreen says she got scared when she saw and animal but there is no animal there. When a shelf of can goods falls, Noreen once again is nearby. Mrs. King is also there and says that Noreen never touched the shelf but Grimley doesn’t believe her. Noreen insists that it was some sort of animal. Grimley sarcastically quips that maybe it was Briteway Billy, the store’s chipmunk mascot.
These incidents seem to happen whenever Grimley pays attention Linda, the pretty checkout girl. Linda is totally creeped out by Noreen and the strange happenings. When Linda is attacked in the ladies room by something she can’t identify, Grimley believes Noreen had something to do with it. He finally calls Mr. Liversedge (Wensley Pithey), the personnel manager from Human Resources. Liversedge talks to Grimley and then to Noreen. He then witnesses a demonstration of the strange destruction that Noreen now believes is the animal she calls Billy.
Liversedge comes to the conclusion that Noreen is in love with Grimley, despite his being a jerk, and is telepathically causing all the disturbances using psychic powers. Liversedge plans on contacting a doctor to deal with Noreen’s affliction. In the meantime he wants Grimley to keep her on and be nice to her. Grimley, however, can’t help his own personality and manages to piss off not only Noreen but Briteway Billy as well.
“Beasts” was created and written by Nigel Kneale, who also wrote the Quatermass films and series as well as other films for Hammer Film Productions. It is a British six episode horror anthology television series for ITV. The series was broadcast in 1976. Each episode is an individual story.
There is a subtle creepiness to this story. Noreen starts out as a dorky nerdy girl but then evolves into a disturbing evil demon. Of all the stories in the series, this one was my favorite.